You're the Puppet

The Dark Crystal at ATL


  • The Dark Crystal

If you're a fantasy nerd, you may have heard about the 10-episode The Dark Crystal prequel coming to Netflix. No? It's happening. To tide us over until its release date (no word yet, but production starts sometime this fall), or if you haven't seen Jim Henson's 1982 classic children's fantasy film, your chance — like Fizzgig — rolls around Sunday, June 11 at 6 p.m. at the Arcata Theatre Lounge ($5).

Conventional wisdom is you either love The Dark Crystal or you hate it. I love it — like, line-quoting, Skeksi-imitating, crystal-shard-tattoo-contemplating fandom. Others, including some of my coworkers, are completely creeped out by the somber story of good vs. evil told with puppets and animatronics. Yes, it's freaky, disturbing and dark in parts but the film's message of harmony and unity among races is uplifting and important. Muppet master Henson didn't think it was healthy for kids to always feel safe. He thought their fairy tales should also at times be a little Grimm.

The film's cinematic effects are stunning, visionary stuff with rich colors and textures created by fantasy artist Brian Froud (who used a lot of spiral and geometric designs to symbolize the connectivity of all things). Then there's the stirring score by Trevor Jones, powerfully executed by the London Symphony Orchestra, and the fact that Henson contended that out of all of his projects, The Dark Crystal was the one he was most proud of. I rest my case.

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